Responses by Chris Mead, associate creative director/copywriter and Kris Wong, senior art director, David&Goliath
Background: 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. So, the U.S. National Forest Service and the Ad Council wanted to inspire parents and tweens to get outside and explore all that trails have to offer, with discovertheforest.org as their guide.
Reasoning: We live in a world where people turn to their phones for every answer. But technology isn’t capable of answering the truly creative, poetic questions that make humans unique. We wanted to show how forest trails are where the answers to those questions can be discovered, inspiring even more creativity and curiosity. Then we brought this idea to life through TV, radio, out of home, digital and social media.
Challenges: In a way, this one-minute PSA tells two stories. This family is connecting with nature, but they’re also connecting with each other and building their relationship. We tried to be mindful of balancing how much emphasis was given to the moments of natural discovery and the moments of emotional bonding.
Favorite details: The performances by the actors playing the father and daughter. They’re both incredibly gifted, and our director, Matt Ross, was masterful in guiding their performances.
Time constraints: Due to the tight timeline and lots of moving parts, it became crucial to put full trust in all of our production partners, and not second guess—not too much, anyway.
Anything new: We learned enough about the forest to become unofficial park rangers. We’re all now well versed in the murmuration patterns of the Vaux’s Swift. According to our producer Brandon Kusher, we learned that Portland has the world’s best yogurt parfait.